Personnel Announcement: Marisa A. Quinn

April 23, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

After a career spanning 22 years, several key positions and extensive impact at Brown, Marisa Quinn recently informed me of her plans to step down, effective June 30, 2021. While, personally, her decision has prompted mixed emotions, I am very happy for her and wish her every success in this next chapter. We will launch a search soon for the next chief of staff to the provost, and I’m grateful that she has agreed to extend her term if her successor has not yet been selected, and to consult as needed to ensure a successful and orderly transition.

Marisa joined the Brown community in May 1999, after nearly a decade of work in the public sector at the federal and state levels. She began as director of federal relations for the University, and went on to serve as director of community and government relations, assistant to President Ruth J. Simmons, vice president for public affairs and university relations, director of outreach and communications for the Watson Institute, and, most recently, chief of staff to the provost.

Marisa has contributed in myriad and enduring ways over the decades, including cultivating important and productive relationships with government, community, union and business leaders that allowed the University to make progress on a number of dimensions; developing communication strategies and tactics to expand the University reach and impact at a time when the entire media landscape was changing; advancing legislative work that enabled critical projects such as South Street Landing to proceed; and co-leading the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the University’s founding. She has worked on initiatives that reflect the University’s values, including Responding to Hurricane Katrina; Supporting Displaced Scholars, which included overseeing the University’s partnership with the University of Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria; and spearheading efforts to review and revise Brown policies related to DACA and undocumented students. Working closely with University Events and others, she has also managed the Presidential Stephen A. Ogden Jr. ’60 Lecture on International Affairs.

As chief of staff, she has been a key partner in advancing our goals of enhancing academic excellence, building community and promoting operational excellence. She helped to conceptualize and implement the By Faculty for Faculty lecture series, and partnered with the President’s Staff Advisory Council to create the Staff Summer Readings and Faculty in Focus programs. She has been deeply engaged in the University’s commitment to cultivate a more diverse, just and inclusive community, playing a valuable role in the development of the Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion, the partnership with the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America to launch the How Structural Racism Works and Race & In America series, and collaborating with the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity to bring professional development opportunities to academic leaders and the provost office staff. She has also worked closely with University Events, Advancement and Human Resources, among others, in this role.

Over the last year, Marisa has been integrally involved in the University’s response to the pandemic, helping direct a coordination effort to ensure that extensive University-wide planning translated into sound implementation. She has also partnered closely with the Office of University Communications, the President’s office, and many others on behalf of Brown during this period.

Marisa has demonstrated what is true for many of us: that – if desired - Brown can be much more than a job, and offers a purpose-driven career and a valuable and rewarding community. I know from talking with Marisa that she is deeply grateful for this.

Marisa has been a close colleague and trusted friend who has helped me navigate the various challenges of the job. We will have an opportunity to celebrate with Marisa when it is safe to do so. Until then, please join me in thanking Marisa for her contributions and wishing her the very best.


Richard M. Locke